LEARNING about the dangers of making hoax 999 calls was made fun
recently when members of a Junior Bobbies scheme were given a
guided tour of Eccles Fire Station by firefighters.
The pilot scheme, which aimed to discourage the young people of
Little Hulton from being involved in anti-social behaviour, was run
by City West Housing Trust.
The nine to 15-year-olds visited the station on Wednesday,
August 1 and were shown the fire engines and water rescue unit
before having a fire safety presentation.
Neighbourhood Officer from City West Housing Trust, Rebecca
West, said: "We ran the Junior Bobbies as a pilot for a week.
We brought ten young people down to the station and it was
fantastic that the firefighters and staff were able to show us
"They told all the children about the work of Greater Manchester
Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS), and all about the risks of making
hoax calls and starting deliberate fires.
"A couple of them had been in trouble previously and all of the
children really learnt a lot from the crews. The course was
all about encouraging them to make better life choices going
forward to keep them away from getting into anti-social
During the week, the children also visited Manchester
Magistrates' Court, a homeless shelter and Challenge4Change, a
Trafford Park based charity where the Junior Bobbies took part in
team building activities and were shown a real prison cell.
Community Safety Advisor Katy O'Connor said: "The young people
spent a morning with us and Blue Watch were able to do some fire
drills with them in the station yard, helping them with
"I gave them a few different presentations on hoax calls, road
safety, deliberate fire starting and general fire safety because
the idea of the visit was to help prevent the young people falling
victim to peer pressure and getting into anti-social behaviour.
"With bonfire night approaching in a few months, I was also able
to chat to them about the dangers and risks and after showing them
a video and pictures of people injured by fireworks, one of them
told me how he now realised it just wasn't worth it just to try and
Rebecca added: "The week had a real impact on the young people
and they came up with a new name for their programme and decided
that rather than Junior Bobbies, the week-long scheme should
actually be called Change Your Choices."
Eccles Station Manager Paul Smitham said: "We were delighted to
be involved with the pilot scheme because Eccles Fire Station is at
the centre of the community here.
"GMFRS Firefighters are disciplined and work hard and hopefully
by having the young people on station with us they will pick up
good values and make wise choices.
"If we can help prevent young people from getting involved in
anti-social behaviour then we are helping make our community in
Eccles and Little Hulton safer and going forward we hope to work
with City West Housing Trust in the future with their Change Your